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Martin Coates , killed while crop spraying in The Sudan in 1962

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Martin Coates , killed while crop spraying in The Sudan in 1962

Old 14th Jul 2019, 05:12
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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https://youtu.be/qTgUSLYsnnY

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Old 14th Jul 2019, 06:10
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Every time I am amazed again as to how much knowledge and experience and history we have here at PPRuNe.
Despite the fact Sudan isnít a safe place right now I wish you all the luck with your endeavors.

Last edited by B2N2; 14th Jul 2019 at 07:52.
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Old 14th Jul 2019, 08:42
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Originally Posted by inmate View Post
Dan check your PM,s
The wife ordered the book yesterday so some good reading on weather days.
Planemike: I have the book and yes it's a very interesting read!!!, I was supposed to go and live in Kenya during the 50's however it never came to pass. He flew for Alex Noon during those days and Alex son Chris worked for him one summer. Ironically during the late 90's early 20's I flew in PNG and Chris was flying for Cathy Pacific, both of our companies owed by the Swire Group. Small world
Thanks to everyone for shining the light.
Maybe smaller yet.......!!! Chris Noon and I both attended St. Mary's School in Nairobi between 1955 and 57......
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Old 14th Jul 2019, 10:20
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I remember the documentary posted by Currawong on TV probably during the '80s or '90s. Tony Abercrombie-Dick appears a couple of times in my dad's logbook in the early '70s.
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Old 14th Jul 2019, 12:49
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Timber Wood was approached in the mid to late 1970's, when that documentary was first concieved, to be one of the pilots, to give his story.. Since it was filmed in the mid 1980's it never came to pass, unfortunately.

Quite a few of the pilots have now passed away, who were shown in that documentry.
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Old 15th Jul 2019, 14:57
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Originally Posted by Planemike View Post
Maybe smaller yet.......!!! Chris Noon and I both attended St. Mary's School in Nairobi between 1955 and 57......
Had we moved to Nairobi we probably would have all been in the same form, as it was I ended up in a small school in Plympton Devon called (guess what) St Marys!
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Old 15th Jul 2019, 17:56
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We had friends come to stay with us a month or so back, and they brought another couple with them. Happened to mention Peter C, turned out the friend of the friend, when a student, had been a marker for Peter, as indeed had Henry Labouchere
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Old 12th Aug 2019, 16:29
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To all who thoughtfully gave me an insight into a part of Dad's life that I did not know , thank you. Wander00 thanks for the lead on "Six Feet Over" as Dan said an interesting read and Peter must have known Dad fairly well. Dan, Planemike and EP9 many thanks for your information and contribution.
Do any of you know if Dad had a family later on in life?, A PM would be great if you don't feel comfortable answering here.
I'm starting to believe in the saying "Like Father Like Son" well at least in the world of aviation!!
Mike "Diwai" Wood
PS: To David Thompson for starting this thread, thank you and I hope that Kate is able to fulfill her wishes.
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Old 8th Oct 2019, 22:02
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Join Date: Oct 2019
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Martin Coates thread..

I have just come across this thread, and for reasons that are obvious in what follows I would be grateful if someone could introduce me to Kate Showell. I have just posted this on key-aero

Martin's passenger in the aircraft when it crashed was my father: Albert TG Cocks. They were up taking photographs of the Sennar Dam and the power station where my father was the commissioning engineer for the hydro electric turbines. He and Martin became friends, and my father was a keen photographer so Martin offered to take him up for a flight to get some photographs. I have eye witness reports of the accident written for my late mother, plus exact location and photographs of the funeral and both graves, and later with their stones.

Assumptions are correct, the graves are in a Christian cemetery near the airport, and are adjacent to the war graves, the latter sadly now surrounded by a fence, and shaded by trees,They are on the south east corner of the war grave area. You can actually see the graves on Google Earth. and at this exact location 15.597201,32.537733 I am not allowed to post URL as a newbie, but in the web site google or satellites.pro then x marks the spot, The two graves are adjacent, my father's grave to the south and Martin's to the north.

Regards to all who have posted and researched this for Kate. I am sad that I have only just found this, and my late mother would have happily corresponded with her mother. I have PM'd David Thompson. If I can work out how to attach photos then I will scan and add one of the graves, as closure for all of those who have researched this over the years.

Thanks and regards to all.

Last edited by rogerc; 9th Oct 2019 at 19:15. Reason: Correct / simplify the name of the location
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Old 9th Oct 2019, 13:14
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I am now in contact with Kate Showell and we have exchanged messages, and although both overjoyed to get closure after so many years there are stong emotions. I have posted pictures of the graves on the key-aero thread on this subject (sorry I am not allowed to post links here yet being a newbie). For those of you interested in the history of Sudanese crop spraying at the time there are photos of the funeral which was well attended by the crop sprayers, as well as those on my fathers side. Many photographs of the funeral service were taken since neither family attended as the funeral understandably took place within hours of the bodies being recovered a couple of days after the crash.

Once again, thank you to you all for your work. I for example had never seen a picture of the plane or knew very little about crop spraying in the Sudan, though having grown up on on the Lancashire plain I certainly know what flying six foot over looks like and why you need to shut your doors and windows and stay inside.
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Old 9th Oct 2019, 16:45
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Roger C. The accident in which your Dad sadly died is recounted on p144 of Peter Charles's book, Six Feet Over, and the burial of your Dad and the pilot, Martin Coates in Khartoum. It says no reason for the accident was found. You can get the book still on A.......n

Peter was a good friend of ours and died only a couple of years ago.
Regards W
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Old 9th Oct 2019, 19:12
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Join Date: Oct 2019
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Originally Posted by Wander00 View Post
Roger C. The accident in which your Dad sadly died is recounted on p144 of Peter Charles's book, Six Feet Over, and the burial of your Dad and the pilot, Martin Coates in Khartoum. It says no reason for the accident was found. You can get the book still on A.......n. Peter was a good friend of ours and died only a couple of years ago. Regards W
Thank you W. I have ordered a copy. It is a pity Peter has gone; since I am sure he would be interested in some of the material and letters, and I could learn a lot about the life he led.

With regard to the accident itself: Only seconds before the accident around 3pm they were flying over at 300ft and both waving out of the windows. The understanding I have always had, fed back to my late mother from the English Electric colleagues, is that the plane got caught in some kind of clear air turbulence or 'air pocket' due to the mixture of water, hot desert and sun; and the plane "fell out of the sky". Many of you will be able to understand this much better, and is I understand a hazard of low flying near ridges and other geographic features. There was never any mention at all of engine failure or such like. A number of them saw the plane hit the water and sink only 30 seconds later in a particularly deep and fast flowing area of the Blue Nile. A couple of the letters I have from his colleagues who participated in the recovery make quite clear that what they saw when the plane was recovered (a couple of days later once a floating crane had been bought to the site) meant that the impact with the water was very hard and that death was very quick.

May I say how interesting I have found many of the links that you have all posted, and I thank you for your interest in this.
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Old 10th Oct 2019, 08:56
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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We had friends from UK to stay in the summer, and by arrangement they brought friends of theirs we had not previously met. It became a bit surreal when we learned that our first MQ at Norwich virtually adjoined their offices in Old Catton (this 1984!), but then somehow Peter and crop spraying got mentioned and the visitor looked a bit puzzled - "Do you mean a guy called Peter Charles?". "Yes", "Well when a student I was one of his "markers". We reckon he is one of the "university students" mentioned in the book. I bought him a copy of Peter's book
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Old 10th Oct 2019, 09:33
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The recovery operation is also covered in Peter's book. He was a really lovely guy, Peter, and I counted him as one of my best friends, albeit there was an 18 year age gap. For him the glass was always half full, and he looked after himself, with a bit of help, right up to his death. I miss him greatly. We said good by to him, most appropriately, on Dunkeswell airfield.
Timber Woods gets a mention in the book too.

Last edited by Wander00; 10th Oct 2019 at 13:49. Reason: More info
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